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Need to go for cooperative learning model to enhance learning outcomes and mitigate the social isolation effects of lecturing, competition and technology
Currently, many social theorists, educators, pedagogues and education therapists are questioning the adequacy of the current dominant pattern of education which is emphasizing the lecture method; competition; external motivation based on reward and punishment; individual performance enhancement with external support; memorization through parroting.

The dominant recitation model of teaching, which is based on lecturing or presentation followed by questions for individuals to respond and affirmation of responses as correct or incorrect followed by rewarding the good performers and stigmatizing the bad performers. Thus, the recitation model to cover the course with emphasis on competition is bad for both for the learners and the society.

Noted educationist John Dewey has also criticized competition in educational institutions and advocated strongly their restructuring as democratic learning communities and proved the worth of cooperation in education.

Keeping in view, the damage being done by the competitive mode of learning, a few educators are practicing the cooperative learning methods and advocate for their wider use. Let's know more about cooperative learning through basic assumptions on which cooperative model of learning is based.

The basic assumptions of cooperative learning are follows: cooperation in learning is both socially and intellectual stimulating; and the central societal role of education is to prepare individuals who would strengthen the democratic social order in institutions and society through collective and participatory processes to learn and make decisions to be owned up by them.

There are certain in-built values in the cooperative learning models are as follows. Cooperation provides a solid sociological foundation to education through enhanced social interaction as a pre-requisite to learning and incorporation of higher mental functions such as reasoning, comprehension and critical reflection which originate and develop in group situation and then internalized individually emphasis in cooperative learning.

The main ingredients of effective cooperative learning are as follows.

Group learning along with face-to-face interaction whole class learning

Positive interdependence development through giving and receiving explanations, collective reasoning and consensus building

Opportunities for building collaborative skills

Group processing through periodic review of inter-relationship and process analysis

Individual accountability coupled with the group accountability by stressing group achievement

If one goes by the over-view of the researches on the efficacy of cooperative learning, it has been found to be significantly better that the lecture method.

The researches show that cooperative groups generate energy for improved learning; shared responsibility and mutually helpful interactions produce positive feelings towards tasks and one-another; and cooperation in learning results in better self-image among most students by improving their achievement.

Thus, cooperative learning strategies consist of a mix of information processing models of learning and social models of group behaviour.

Then why not to go for cooperative learning in schools so as develop the pro-social good academic performers who become keen to serve the society!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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